I'd give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life's decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer day.
~Lewis Carroll, "Solitude"
After a dreary, rainy June, July has come upon us with sun and delicious heat! What else could we do (for three days straight!) but head to the perfect playground? Your beach may have fine white sand, or coarse granules. The bottom may be firm, squishy, carpeted in bark or rampant with weeds. Maybe it's in a protected park, or maybe there are broken clamshells or broken glass to cut your feet on. Ours has a sign that reads "Nudity is prohibited"...love that we live in an area where signs like that are necessary!
Provided that he or she is well-supervised by the water and protected from the sun, the beach is a child's dream. There is stimulation for every sense: the sound of the breeze and the waves, the smell of water and pine, the crunch and heat of sand under your toes, blue and more blue to see, and hopefully some snacks packed by mama! Hummus and crackers and fruit are our beach essentials.
There's that gasp as the cold waves lick your belly.
The first time you take your child to a beach, you will be astounded at how many creases and crevices there are on your her body, and how the sand can find its way into every single one of them.
There are so many things to love about the beach. My favourite is how satisfied my children are after a day there; everyone dozes on the way home, sand in their hair and bums, and a tinge of sun on their faces. The wind, sun, and water conspire to drug them into a stupor, so bedtime is usually a simple affair. And all mama has to do is shake the sand out of the quilt, and hang it on the line with the towels and suits, ready to be packed up tomorrow.
Do you have a favourite childhood memory of the beach?